Loss-making SpiceJet, which has so greatly claimed more than ₹1,200 crores in compensation from Boeing following the grounding of the planes in March 2019, will not be able to get further claims from the aircraft operator.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)’s judgment to permit the return of Boeing Co.’s 737 MAX, will help SpiceJet Ltd, the sole operator of the aircraft in India, to cut moving costs and improve payment flows from the sale including leaseback (SLB) of new aircraft.
- Under SLB, an airline purchases an aircraft and sells it to a lessor at interest to lease it back for its own use. It not only helps generate cash, but also transfers the aircraft, and its associated debt, from the carrier’s profit sheet.
- Loss-making SpiceJet, which has so far demanded more than ₹1,200 crores in compensation from Boeing following the grounding of the planes in March 2019, will not be able to make further claims from the aircraft manufacturer.
The airline is, however, yet to receive a large part of the compensation owed to it by Boeing.
Audiences to SpiceJet said during its June quarterly results that the carrier would have reported steeper losses had it not recognized the other income, which was the dues from Boeing.
205 Boeing planes
- The airline had 13 737 MAX at the time of the ban. SpiceJet had in 2017 ordered 205 Boeing planes, including a hundred units of 737 Max 8 aircraft.
The 737 Max was grounded following two fatal crashes involving the aircraft.
Boeing 737 Max
The return to service of the 737 Max is good news for Boeing and its India neighborhood, said Satyendra Pandey, managing partner at aviation advisory firm AT-TV.
Newest airline in India
“For India’s airlines, SpiceJet is the only operating airline with the 737 MAX in the fleet. Indications are that the newest airline in India will also announce a 737 MAX fleet,” Pandey said.
“The airplane will allow SpiceJet to deliver lower costs in an environment where every rupee counts and margins continue to be wafer-thin,” Pandey said, adding the compensation for the aircraft’s grounding continues to be a “complex and controversial issue and will take time to unravel”.
- Another senior industry executive, who had stints in few airlines, said asking anonymity that SpiceJet may not receive Boeing’s full compensation as aircraft makers do not prefer a direct or full cash payment and instead opt for other structures, which include discounts or rollover of payments.
Meanwhile, Walker Chandiok and Co. LLP, the auditors of SpiceJet, once over-raised doubts about the airline’s ability to continue as a going concern as mounting damages have led to complete erosion of its net worth.